MACHU PICCHU INCA RUINS
11 DAYS: LIMA, CUSCO, 4 DAYS TREK TO CHOQUEQUIRAO AND MACHU PICCHU
Day 01 LIMA
Arrival in Lima. Reception and transfer to the hotel. Afternoon visit to Colonial and Modern Lima. Guided tour through the historic center of the city. Admire the beauty of San Martin and Major squares, the Cathedral, the Government Palace and visit the Convent of San Francisco and its catacombs, religious building from the end of the XVI century. Drive through the residential districts of San Isidro and Miraflores.
Day 02 LIMA – CUSCO
Transfer to the airport for the flight to Cusco. Reception and transfer to your hotel. Balance of the day at leisure to adjust to the high altitude (11,000 feet).(Breakfast).
Day 03 CUSCO
Afternoon city tour and nearby ruins. Visit Main Square, the Cathedral and its religious Art Museum, the Church of Santo Domingo or Koricancha. Includes visits to the Sacsayhuaman and Puca Pucara fortresses, the temple and amphitheater of Kenko and the water shrine of Tambomachay. (Breakfast).
Day 04 CUSCO – CHIQUISCA
Entrancingly off the increasingly trod track, Choquequirao (“Cradle of Gold” in Quechua—“The Other Machu Picchu”, as a 2007 article in the New York Times called it) is an amazingly preserved Inca outpost, dramatically perched on a promontory nearly 1800 m / 6000 feet above the roaring Apurimac River Gorge. Choquequirao (3.103m/10178ft), considered to be a sister city of similar significance to that of Machupicchu and built along similar lines, although harder to reach, was also presumed to have had about the same size and to have served the same religious, political and agricultural functions. However, because archaeologists long underestimated the importance of Choquequirao, the city’s existence was known for almost 300 years before the first restoration was begun in 1993 and it has only recently been accessible to nonacademics, since then quickly joining the ranks of the world’s great Lost Cities.
In this spectacular 60-km trek we drive to the charming village of Cachora, our starting point, and reach this huge archaeological complex still under cleaning and restoration process located in the surroundings of the Salkantay sacred mountain (6.271m/20569ft) and the Apurimac River canyon. The beauty of the Inca citadel, still partially covered by the weeds cumulated by the passing of centuries, its astonishing location and surrounding mountain scenery, as well as lots of Andean flora and fauna, with the chance to spot condors in its natural habitat are some of the most appreciated attractions of this program.
We leave Cusco at 6 am in our private transportion and drive towards Cachora, an Andean community located about 5 hours from Cusco, at 2800m/9184ft. This is the starting point of the trek and where we will meet our horsemen and horses. We start our hike climbing for two and a half hours towards the Abra Capuliyoc at 2750m/9020ft, where we will enjoy beautiful views of the surrounding mountains and the Apurimac River Canyon. We then continue descending for two more hours towards Chiquisca, where we set our camp and spend the night. (Breakfast – Lunch – Dinner).
Day 05 CHIQUISCA – CHOQUEQUIRAO
We leave Chiquisca as early as 6 am to go down to Rosalina Beach, which will take about one hour. We then cross the Apurimac River and start climbing towards Santa Rosa, zigzagging up a steep slope. This climb will take approximately 2 hours, and it is important that we leave early so that the heat does not make it too difficult. In Santa Rosa, we take a half hour break. Afterwards, we continue our hike climbing slowly for two and a half hours until we reach our lunch spot at Marampata. From here we will walk another two hours until we reach the archaeological complex of Choquequirao, located at 3103m/10178ft. Here, we will set up camp and enjoy some free time to explore the terraces and buildings. When the sun starts to set, you might want to sit and contemplate the canyon, where condors are sometimes spotted. (Breakfast – Lunch – Dinner).
Day 06 CHOQUEQUIRAO – ROSALINA BEACH
This morning we enjoy a complete guided tour of the Choquequirao complex: we will visit the high parts (Hanan), and the lower parts (Urin), and some areas that are still covered in wild foliage and ready to be restored into the way it was when the Incas lived here. After the tour, we start our walk back towards Santa Rosa, where we will have lunch. We then continue descending for another 2 hours until we reach Rosalina Beach at 1450m/4756ft, where we might have time to take a refreshing dip in the waters of the Apurimac River. This will be our camp base for the night.
(Breakfast – Lunch – Dinner).
Day 07 ROSALINA BEACH – CACHORA
We leave camp after breakfast to start the two to three hour climb to Chiquisca, then make our way back to the Abra Capuliyoc, where we will have lunch. In the afternoon, we continue on our two-hour return route to Cachora, where our private transportation will be waiting to take us back to Cusco. We will arrive in Cuzco late in the evening. Overnight in Cuzco. (Breakfast – Lunch).
Day 08 CUSCO – MACHU PICCHU
Morning transfer to the train station. Train takes us through the Sacred Valley of the Incas down to the town of Aguas Calientes. Arrival and board a bus to the mountain-top citadel of Machu Picchu. We will then have a guided tour of the ruins. Machu Picchu, the Lost City of the Incas, was a flourishing ceremonial and agricultural site, probably the gateway to the jungle marshes of the Inca empire. The central buildings were erected with the polished stone works of the Cuzco Imperial style, though the site was probably occupied well before the Incas started their expansion. It was associated with the earth cult revolving around the coca leaf, which was a privilege of the Inca royal family and priests. Dinner at your hotel or in the village of Machu Picchu Pueblo. (Breakfast – Dinner).
Day 09 MACHU PICCHU – CUSCO
Morning at leisure. You may choose to return to Machu Picchu, hike Huayna Picchu or relax in the village of Aguas Calientes and its hot springs. Mid afternoon departure by train to Cusco. Upon arrival transfer to your hotel. (Breakfast).
Note: Entrance tickets to Huayna Picchu are not included. Please advise at time of booking (subject to availability)
Day 10 CUSCO – LIMA
Transfer to the airport in time for the flight to Lima. Arrival in Lima. Transfer to your hotel. Guided shopping tour taking you to the famous handicraft markets. (Breakfast).
Day 11 LIMA – HOME
Transfer to the airport for your international departure flight or continue on the extension of your choice. (Breakfast). End of service
10 DAYS: LIMA, CUSCO,
MACHU PICCHU & 4 DAYS
APURIMAC RIVER RAFTING
10 DAYS: LIMA, CUSCO & INCA TRAIL TO MACHU PICCHU
7 DAY SALKANTAY TREK
LODGE TO LODGE TO MACHU PICCHU